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The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2020

All Issues
MAY 2020 Issue

True Account of Talking to the 7 in Sunnyside

   - Right to Liquor Sign
   past Super Laundromat & European
   which is closed. FOR RENT. Inquiries
   five one six two four eight oh
   there is Golden Wok, then

 - What are you doing?

    - Oh. This.
   Bodega. Closed.

 - Awww.

    - It’s now
   Inquiries Call

 - We can’t go to it again?

    - No more

 - Awww!

     - Used to be Korean
   -owned & now it’s just
   on the corner of
        forty second

 - Why it’s getting closed?

    - Because
   it’s getting
   closed. Because richer people
   have been moving here
   & raising

 - What does that mean?

    - It’s called gentrification

 - Awww….

    - They make it hard
   for us to continue to live
   in this neighborhood

 - Well what is gentremecation?

    - When people who make
   a greater amount of
      move into your
   neighborhood &
   they threaten to push out
   families who look just like

 - That’s so sad!
Who will eat our food?
It’s so tasty!


    - Keep walking west
   till you hit forty first street
      & see
            PS 150
   which, thankfully, we’ll avoid
            this fall

 - Why we will avoid it?

    - Because the principal is terrible
   & when principals are
      Teachers leave
   & we are always going to support

 - Why Baba?

    - Because Teachers are the ones
   who keep our cities

 - What is intact?

    - Holding fast.
   Teachers keep kids out of trouble,
   they guide you to be a better person
   actually yr first teachers are always
.   going to be Mama & Baba
   the others
   Ah Mah Ah Gung Coco & Coca

 - I love Coca! Baba
we didn’t go to temple for a long
long time!

    - I know. We will
   next weekend. After
   we attend Tita Emmy’s
   panel at PS1 MoMA,
   Little steps big steps tiny steps

 - Why oh why the um principal
is terrible?

    - Ah because the principal
   doesn’t care about
        her teachers
   she wants always to blame
        her teachers
   for every problem at
        her school
   precisely what most


 - Baba how many how many days
is Earth going to be alive?

    - That is a good question
   How Many Days Is Earth Going to Be Alive
   I can tell you we’ve arrived on Queens Boulevard
   & the forty first street bus stop of the Q32 & 60

 - Baba Baba
the only thing under Earth
that would be alive

    - Ohh THIS place
   closed too?

 - And no firecracker
and no shooting

    - Used to be a spa
   meanwhile itong Baruir’s Coffee
     e nahati siya
   Virage’s Mart Convenience Store
   where yr Coca Marvie wd hoard
   phone cards to call Manila
   & Sunnyside Florist NY For All
   Designs & Occasions⎼⎼hangaang
   kelan lang kaya para sa kanila?
   Hetong Coffee Shop sa kanto
    once run by four brothers from Puebla
   now a bistro called SOLE LUNA

 - Also what, Baba?

    - Sole Luna, mahal ko.
   Nasa Lowery station na tayo
   para kunin yung 7


 - Baba, Baba! Um the time
when we get home can you please
look up how many days is the Earth
gonna survive

    - Cge, mahal ko
   but only if you step
   away from here
   then say

 - Hello, 7 train!


Paolo Javier

A featured artist in Queens International 18, Paolo Javier is the author of the chapbook and cassette EP Maybe the Sweet Honey Pours (Nion Editions/Temporary Tapes 2019), and O.B.B., a long comics poem forthcoming from Nightboat Books.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2020

All Issues